Monday, 8 August 2011

Green Tiger Beetle larvae

Crystal Maw (RSPB) sent me this message, together with some fascinating photos:

Mary McGregor found a tiger beetle on some clay not far from Stremnishmore on the Oa. I noticed some burrows where she had seen it and later saw the monstrous looking beetle larvae with their beady eyes poking out of the burrows. They're amazing the way they wait in ambush for some unsuspecting ant or caterpillar to come along. I was fascinated for ages. Thought you might like to see the photos.

I'm amazed by these creatures. I've also read that the larvae have a spine on their back that anchors their prey to the side of the burrow. The larvae go through three larval instars (stages) and before each moult they need to enlarge their burrow because they get so FAT!

Thanks, Crystal.

The beetle's burrow

Green Tiger Beetle - Cicindela campestris

The monster larvae!

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